Pesticide Action Network (PAN) welcomes the positive outcomes and discussions at the 8th Conference of Parties (COPS) to the Rotterdam Convention that held from 24 April to 5 May 2017.
In particular, we are pleased that two pesticides, carbofuran and trichlorfon, were listed under the Rotterdam Convention. Carbofuran has caused many poisonings of both people and wildlife. We also welcome the serious discussion of gender issues, as the impact of chemicals on the health of women and children is too often ignored. Involving women in decision making and in programmes to reduce highly hazardous pesticides and to replace them with agroecology, is essential. We need policies to support women’s leadership in all levels and programmes to strengthen their capacity.
We welcome the recognition of the need to link human rights and sound management of chemicals and waste, and we would like to suggest that the next COPs has a paper on the implications of human rights on sound management of chemicals.
PAN is however, disappointed that we were excluded from important discussions on the effectiveness of the Rotterdam Convention. As CSOs, we have much to contribute in and we hope that CSOs will be included in the future work on this issue.
Moreover, we are very disappointed that paraquat dichloride and fenthion were not in
cluded in Annex 3 of Rotterdam Convention even though they met the criteria for the listing. Rotterdam facilitates information sharing and so we urge those countries who blocked their listing to go to fields and plantations and see the real impact of these pesticides on the health of workers, farmers and their communities and the environment and not just look at its narrow economic benefits.
Finally, in closing, we call on the Parties to the Conventions to respond positively to the request from The State of Palestine for assistance with the removal of banned pesticides and chemical waste, and with the implementation of sound management including monitoring and prevention of illegal traffic in chemicals and waste. In addition, a programme of monitoring and clean up is desperately needed.
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